Akita Inu Dog Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Information

Akita Inu (Japanese) Dog Breed Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Information

The Akita Inu dog breed is powerful and large and is considered a dog of noble character. Feudal Japan used them to protect its royalty and nobility. In addition to tracking and hunting wild boar and black bear, these dogs also hunted deer.

Challenges are not a problem for the Akita Inu dogs, and they don’t quickly get scared. With an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years, they are courageous and loyal to their families.

Yet, they are also amusing, affectionate, and respectful dogs when properly socialized and trained. The Akita Inu breed, also known as Great Japanese Dogs and Japanese Akitas, is a large breed that stands about 28 inches high at the withers and could weigh as much as 120 pounds. Japanese Akitas breed only once per year, and they could have 3 to 12 puppies per litter. 

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Why is it Called Japanese Akita?

The Akita Inu name is based on the breed’s origins. The Japanese Akita Inu originated from the Akita prefecture. Akita is one of the 47 Japanese prefectures, located in the Tohoku region of North Honsho on the main island of Japan. The word Inu simply means dog in Japanese and many use the word Ken instead, which is a synonym of Inu.

Are American Akita and Japanese Akita the Same?

The American Akita is not the same breed as the Japanese Akita. The two breeds have significant physical differences. Unlike most American Akitas, Japanese Akitas may not have black face mask-like coloring on their faces. The Akita Inus of Japanese origin are smaller than their American cousins. Furthermore, Japanese Akitas come in a limited number of colors while American Akitas are allowed a long list of colors. 

What is the History of Japanese Akita?

Known as a symbol of protection, Japanese parents often receive a small statue of an Akita when their child is born. The Akita is not only a symbol of protection, but also one of health, happiness, and long life. In 1931, the government of Japan declared the Akita breed to be a national monument and one of Japan’s national treasures.

From the 1700s to the mid-1800s, the Akita Inu became the dog of Japanese noblemen and samurai and some even had servants. However, the golden years of the Akita Inu’s had to come to an end sometime. The period from 1868-1912 brought the Meiji period and Japan’s modernization. The obsolescence of samurai triggered a significant increase in dogfights to satisfy samurai’s fighting spirit. Consequently, different dog breeds were crossed, including the Akita Inu, in order to improve their chances of winning. Henceforth, the purity enjoyed by the Akita Inu during the Tsunayoshi time period was lost. Akitas were bred to be more muscular, much bigger, and courageous.

As a result of the dog tax implemented in Japan in 1910, thousands of Akita Inu were killed, and countless others died from a rabies epidemic. Throughout the 1930s, however, things began to improve. Formed in 1927, AKIHO actively promotes and preserves the Akita Inu breed, prohibiting any further breeding. As a cherry on top, in July 1931 the Akita Inu was honored when the Japanese Government presented the breed the designation of Tennen Kinenbutsu (Natural Monument), the first dog breed ever to receive such an honor. A time of selective breeding and acquisition of dogs from remote Matagi villages followed, resulting in a slow but steady return of the original breed type. 

What are the Breed Traits and Characteristics of the Akita Inu?

Massive Akita Inus can be as charming as small lapdogs. This breed is devoted to its owners and calm with everyone. An Akita Inus can live peacefully with all generations, including small children and the elderly. Because they are low in prey instinct, with some socialization training they will not chase cats or other small pets. Although the Akita Inu breed is very attached to their human families, they are so calm that they can be left at home alone for a few hours and are one of the few breeds that do not suffer from separation anxiety. Akitas are excellent watchdogs, they seldom bark. Instead, they intimidate trespassers with their massive strong stature.

Akitas have a peculiar habit of mouthing. A great deal of Inu’s behavior consists of carrying things around in their mouths, including your wrist. Akitas do this to communicate with the people they love, and it is not an aggressive act. Perhaps they want to go for a walk so they’ll grab your wrist and lead you to their leash, or perhaps they have a number of other ideas running through their heads.

How Does the Akita Inu Interact with Family?

Akita Inus love the interaction with their human families. These Japanese Akita Inus are very affectionate, typically close to the family and other people they know. Akita Inus are protective of the people they regard as members of their pack, and they have inbred instincts that make them accept their masters as pack leaders. Akitas have a higher energy level than most other dogs and this breed isn’t the perfect choice for those who want a dog for snuggling on the couch. Akita Inus are gentle with people and crave contact with their human families, making them excellent companion dogs. 

Despite their ability not to bark excessively, Akita Inus use amusing moans, grunts, and mumbles to communicate. Akitas sometimes appear to be talking to themselves, as if they are muttering under their breath. The Akita seems to have a lot to say, from what type of detergent to use to what time to put the kids to bed.

How Does the Akita Inu Interact with Other Dogs?

Male Akitas do not interact well with other dogs. They like to be the dominant force whenever they encounter other dogs, whether in the home, on walks, into bushes, etc. Even on a leash, they are strong enough to take off and attack other dogs that pose potential threats. They could also cause problems if they live with a family that owns other dogs. Socializing and training the dogs would be crucial.

Can Akitas live with cats?

Some Akita Inus can share a home with cats and others can’t. Typically, cats are safe if they were raised along with the Inus. However, Akita Inus have a strong prey drive, and even if they are used to the cats in the home, they might give in to their innate instinct to chase and catch a cat, which might seem like furry fair game on some days.

One thing that might keep the peace is ongoing socializing training to keep the Akita Inu reminded that the cat is a part of the family and not an intruder.

Can You Have 2 Akitas?

No, more than one Japanese Akita in one household will not do. Their aggressive nature makes them unsuitable for sharing the same space as other Akita Inus. Males of this breed do best when there is no competition to be the Alpha dog in the household. While it’s not impossible for an Akita to get along with other dogs, the situation can be volatile if the other dog is also an Akita. Although female Akitas can stand their ground, they could pose a threat to the males. 

However, the most dangerous situation is one in which more than one Akita Inu male fights for the role of Alpha Male. For multi-dog households, the safest way is to raise one male and one female Akita together and ensure constant socialization training. The same might work for two male Akitas, but there will always be the risk of an unanticipated attack by one of the two males.

How are Akita Inus with Older People?

Akita Inus are commonly okay with older people, despite their large size. However, when showing their love to their human family members, Akitas tend to lean into them. They are very large dogs and frail seniors might be pushed off balance when their Akita companion leans over to show affection.

How are Akita Inus with Children?

As a loyal and loving breed, Japanese Akitas have a tendency to fit in really well with families. Akita Inus love to interact with kids, and if that means extra playtime and attention, so much the better. However, an Akita is a large dog and although unintentional, an overexcited Akita could knock a child or senior person over. Supervision and socialization training can teach the dog to be careful where small children and older people are. Akita Inus are friendly and have good-natured personalities, helping them get along with everyone, including children of all ages. However, young children should never be left in the company of an Akita Inu without adult supervision.

How are Akita Inus with Neighbors or Guests?

Akitas will first look over guests and take their cues from their humans before accepting their presence. Akita Inus are exceptionally loyal and will watch their human families for cues when there are guests and neighbors. Japanese Akitas have this charming mumbling and “talking traits,” and chances are the canines and their owners understand each other perfectly. The Akita Inus are typically wary and aloof when visitors arrive. They’ll keep a close watch, and “ask” their owners whether all is okay. From the moment the Akita is convinced the visitors pose no threat, it will be perfectly welcoming. 

Although socializing Akitas with other dogs is important from a young age, it might be wise for their owners to include many people in the socializing process.

What are Akita Inu’s Physical Traits?

The physical traits of the Akita Inu type dog are listed below:

Type, size, and group

Purebred, large dog type

Weight Range

Males – 75 to 120 pounds

Females – 75 to 110 pounds

Height at the Withers

Males – 26 to 28 inches

Females – 24 to 26 inches

Features

Large, broad head

Muscular jaws

Short, rounded muzzle

Triangular ears – floppy in puppies and erect in adults

Round eyes, dark brown

Exercise

One hour of vigorous walking per day is sufficient

Life expectancy

12 to 15 years

Coat

Thick, waterproof, double coat.

Short, dense outer coat and a dense, fuzzy undercoat

Short hair on the face, which begins to lengthen around the neck

Colors

Fawn, red, black, brown, white

How to Feed an Akita Inu?

When feeding Akita Inus, it is essential to understand the dog’s needs. Consider their high energy and agility, metabolism, size, age, and food quality. Akita Inus need high-quality foods rich enough in calories to sustain their energy levels. The ideal for maintaining energy and vigor is between three and five cups of dried dog food every day. It is best to divide this into two separate meals.

Akita Inu puppies are more active, require more food than adults, and spread over three or four meals per day. To avoid the dogs experiencing bloating or other health complications, they should not receive it all at once but at intervals throughout the day.

Their food requirements are listed below.

  • Adult Akita Inus require between 1200 and 1600 calories daily. Older, less active Akita Inus need fewer calories.
  • Owners of Akita Inus should ensure their dogs’ diets include 22% protein to keep their joints and muscles healthy and no more than 8% fat to optimize energy levels.
  • For overall health, the diets of Akita Inus should include vegetables, fruits, meat, and fish. Akita Inus love to eat fish, especially salmon. However, avoid giving them raw salmon, which could contain parasites and small bones.
  • Four to seven cups of high-quality dry dog food, split into two meals, are typically enough for an Akita per day. Akita Inus must always have access to fresh drinking water.
  • High-quality commercial kibble brands typically include beneficial plant proteins like peas and lentils.
  • Akita Inus typically eat less than one would expect from such large breed dogs. However, they tend to gulp the food up too fast. That can cause bloating. Akita Inus tend to become overweight if their owners overfeed them.

How Much Should an Akita Inu Puppy Eat?

Fast-growing puppies eat more than adult dogs. Akita Inu puppies should eat three to five times per day during their first year. After that, they can be fed twice a day like adult dogs.

The nutritional needs of an Akita Inu puppy are listed below:

  • Akita Inu puppies’ protein needs are about 21% to 23% more than adult dogs to grow and support strong bones. Yet, overfeeding protein can cause too rapid development of joints and bones, weakening the skeleton.
  • Watch the calcium content of the Akita Inu puppy’s food. It should be limited to 3 grams for every 1,000 calories.
  • An Akita Inu puppy’s system would also require Vitamins A and D and minerals like zinc, manganese, and copper.

What are the Health Tests an Akita Inu Should Take?

Running health tests on purebred Akita Inu puppies is essential. Owners or potential owners of Akita Inu puppies are typically advised to have a veterinarian run tests on the pup to check for existing and potential health issues. The Akita Inu breed is predisposed to multiple diseases, and tests can identify many of them. Some only develop when puppies become adults, making annual checkups crucial. The illnesses that Akita Inus are prone to are listed below.

  • Gastric Torsion or Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV): Often known as ‘bloat,’ is when a dog’s stomach fills with gas and becomes twisted. This is an emergency and requires urgent veterinary attention.
  • Hip Dysplasia: A hip joint malformation that involves a hip joint with ball and socket formation abnormalities, causing painful arthritis as the Akita Inu ages. It is the most common skeletal condition in large breed dogs
  • Fungal Skin Infections: Akita Inu’s have thick coats and neglecting to brush and remove matted fur could cause serious fungal infections between the inner coat and the Inu’s skin.
  • Sebaceous adenitis: An auto-immune disease where the Akita Inu’s own skin glands become inflamed and sore.
  • Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid could cause the Akita to develop problems with energy, skin, and weight problems.
  • Cataracts and multifocal retinal dysplasia are eye problems that Akita Inus might inherit.
  • Progressive Retinal atrophy: The gradual loss of sight over several months or years.
  • Glaucoma: A degenerative disease that causes damage to the nerve of the Akita’s eye.
  • Entropion: Inward rolling of the eyelids, which causes constant irritation and pain to the eye.
  • Ectropion: Outward rolling of the eyelids, causing the eyelid to appear droopy, causing dryness to the eye.
  • VKH (Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada) type syndrome: If an Akita Inu loses nose and eye color, it could be this syndrome. 

Anyone who considers buying an Akita Inu puppy would be wise to approach a reputable breeder practicing responsible breeding and screening pups for common conditions and diseases could ensure bringing a healthy Akita home.

What are the Exercise Needs of an Akita Inu?

The Akita Inu is an energy bundle that needs at least one hour of brisk walking or jogging per day. This breed is not known to be hyperactive but they do need exercise. Akita Inus are predisposed to have weight problems, and exercise can limit such risks. There is nothing Akitas enjoy more than interacting with their human families, and rambunctious play with the children in the backyard can help the Inu burn more calories.

What are the Nutritional Needs of an Akita Inu?

The nutritional needs of Akita Inus must be met to ensure strong overall health. Adult Akita Inus require between 1200 and 1600 calories daily. Older, less active Akita Inus need fewer calories per day, and very active Akita Inus need more.

The essential nutrients for Akita Inu are listed below:

  • Protein: Akita Inu dogs need natural animal protein, valuable for the amino acids they contain that are essential for their health. Equally important is the fact that protein builds lean muscles and provides energy.
  • Fat: Animal Akita protein also provides adequate fat, an additional energy source that boosts the Akita Inu’s metabolism. However, there is a fine line between enough and too much. Excessive fat levels in the dog’s daily diet could result in weight gain and, ultimately, obesity. Most importantly, adult dogs and senior dogs need lower fat levels than puppies.
  • Carbohydrates: Although carbs are not essential nutrients, they are crucial energy sources. Giving the Akita Inu sufficient carbs will provide energy, encouraging the body’s protein absorption to build lean muscle. Beware, though; too much carbohydrate can lead to obesity.
  • DHA: DHA is one of the components of omega-3 fatty acids. It promotes proper eye and brain development in Akita Inu puppies, and develops cognitive development in puppies, and slows cognitive decline in older dogs. Furthermore, omega fatty acids benefit aging dogs by treating chronic kidney disease and canine arthritis. Omega-3 oils improve the coat health of Akita Inu dogs.
  • Micronutrient: Taurine is one micronutrient that aids heart health, and other valuable micronutrients for the promotion of strong joints in Akita Inu are chondroitin and glucosamine.
  • Minerals: Beneficial minerals for Akita Inu dogs’ growth include a healthy balance of phosphorus and calcium. Pre- and probiotics and chelated minerals provide additional health to the diets of Akita Inus.

What is the Shedding Level of an Akita Inu?

Shedding is a natural process in the hair growth cycles of all dogs. Akita Inus have double coats, and they are undoubtedly high-shedding dogs who need plenty of grooming to keep their coats healthy. A good brushing two or three times a week, or even daily, will remove loose and dead hair to avoid getting the Akita’s hair all over the furniture.

As they prepare for the changing weather of summer and winter, they shed excessively, with the soft undercoat fur coming out in clumps. During the shedding seasons that happen two or three times per year, a daily brush could keep the loose hair under control. Frequent brushing also helps keep the coat shiny, and Akita Inus love the extra attention they get when their owners brush them.

What is the Coat Grooming Frequency of an Akita Inu?

Grooming an Akita Inu is less challenging than one might think. Although they have thick double coats and shed a lot, they practice a lot of self-cleaning, similar to cats. However, it should not all be left up to the Inu. They have a lot of hair and regular brushing, at least 2-3 times a week, is essential. They shed a lot two or three times a year, and daily grooming with a metal comb and pin brush is crucial during the shedding seasons. Neglecting that task will cause the undercoat fur to mat and harbor hot spots and fungus which could become infected.

What is the Drooling Level of the Akita Inu?

Akita Inus are big droolers. However, drooling in dogs is natural. It is an entirely normal and necessary process for a dog’s good health. The saliva of dogs is an oral mucus secretion that is closely linked with their digestive systems and stomachs. It facilitates swallowing and anticipates and prepares for digestion, with various circumstances triggering the mucus secretion.

Frequent cases of natural drooling in your Akita Inus are listed below.

  • Feeding-related drooling: When an Akita knows it’s time to eat, smelling the aromas of food, or seeing their owner handling the bag or storage container with kibble typically causes drooling. It is called the “Pavlov reflex.”
  • Excitement: Akita Inus are clever, and they will know when a walk or game session is imminent.
  • Stress and anxiety: Any unusual situations like unfamiliar thunderous noises or being approached by a large, aggressive-looking dog could trigger excessive drooling.
  • Sexual: A male Akita’s excitement when seeing a female could also cause drooling. Likewise, a female experiencing her first heat might drool if she picks up the smell of male dogs.

What is the Coat Type of the Akita Inu?

The Akita Inu has a double coat that helps regulate its body temperature throughout all seasons. The Akita Inu has two types of coat. Their coats change with the seasons to keep the dog comfortable throughout the year. Throughout the cold of winter, Akita Inus have thick, coarse coats to keep them warm. However, their coats are significantly thinner in the heat of summer.

What is the Coat Length of the Akita Inu?

The under-layer of the Akita Inu breed coat has a short, fuzzy undercoat, which is covered by a  dense layer of medium-long hair to form the outer coat.

What are the Social Traits of the Akita Inu Breed?

The social traits of dogs in the Akita Inu breed are affectionate, friendly, gentle, cheerful, and lovable. They crave constant attention, and it is not uncommon for them to forget their size and climb into their owner’s lap. They are highly intelligent, curious, lively, and independent. Other social traits are listed below:

  • Child Friendly: Akita Inus are kid-friendly, but they are mouthy and there could be play-biting when Akitas play with children.
  • Family Friendly: Akita Inus are affectionate with their human families and submissive to the master, whom they see as the pack leader.
  • Stranger Friendly: Akita Inus will be aloof and watch their owners for cues. If they sense no threat they will be friendly with strangers.
  • Dog Friendly: The Akita Inu has an inbred instinct to fight with other dogs, and extensive socialization is necessary before bringing a second dog into the household. 
  • Seniors Friendly: Akita Inus are friendly with seniors. Akita Inus are one of the few large breeds that are safe around older people.

How Do Akita Inus Interact with Strangers?

Akita Inus are friendly with strangers, however, they may be aloof and shy at first. If they sense that their human families are not threatened by strangers, they will become calm, and even friendly. However, they are extremely protective of their humans, and will not hesitate to attack strangers who threaten their owners.

Are Akita Inus Playful?

Yes, Akita Inus are playful dogs. They have inborn pack characteristics, and rambunctious outside play with older children makes them happy. However, Akita Inus have short tempers and children should always be supervised while playing with Akitas. Children should also learn never to tease their dogs. Especially not an Akita Inu.

Are Akita Inus Protective?

The Akita Inu breed is one of the most protective breeds. However, their loyalty could become a risk if the owners are not experienced. Akita Inus are excessively territorial and their inbred hostility to other dogs or intruders could trigger aggression which might be difficult to control by an inexperienced dog owner.

What is the Adaptability Level of Akita Inus?

Akita Inus can adapt to any changing circumstances, just as long as the changes go along with the love and affection of their families. Relocating, like moving from place to place, causes minor problems, and they bounce back quickly.

Can Akita Inu survive in India?

No, India is not a suitable place to keep an Akita Inu. This breed has a thick double coat to keep them warm in extremely cold conditions, and they have no way to adapt to climates as warm as that of India. Areas of India that are closer to the Himalayas have cooler climates to which Akita Inus might be able to adapt. However, finding a vet in those places might be impossible.

What are the Personality Traits of Akita Inu?

Akita Inu dogs are independent, dominant, and strong. Although they are typically loving and affectionate with their families, they are aloof with strangers. Akita Inus have complex personalities and need owners with experience in handling dogs with challenging dispositions. The Akita Inu breed is most aggressive when they encounter other dogs. Yet, they are compassionate, gentle, and trusting with the members of their human families, and other personality traits are listed below.  

  • Akita Inus require about 60 minutes of exercise per day.
  • Akita Inus are not suitable for novice owners.
  • Akita Inus will be happy to accept their owner as the pack leader after the owner has demonstrated the necessary leadership to earn the role as leader.
  • Akita Inus have a strong prey drive. Therefore, cats and other small pets should not be part of the same household as the Akitas.
  • Akita Inus should have access to somewhere cool in hot weather conditions because their double coats cause them to overheat.
  • Akita Inus shed heavily, especially during the changing of seasons.
  • Akita Inus are very clean and practice self-cleaning like cats.
  • As a communication method, dogs of the Akita breed are known to mumble, grumble, moan and grunt.

Are Akitas dominant?

Akita Inus are incredibly dominant, while also being very strong-willed. Owners must set themselves up as alpha leaders. That could be challenging because it means overcoming Inu’s dominance. However, once the Akita Inus accept their owners as leaders, their loyalty to the family will be unparalleled.

Can Akita Inus be Aggressive?

Without proper training or guidance, Akita Inus can be aggressive. The Akita Inu dog breed was bred as protectors of Japanese Royalty, and not as companions. Although Akita Inus have evolved into loveable and affectionate companion dogs, their exceptional loyalty will not suppress the aggressive traits when their family members are threatened.

Why are Akitas so mean? 

Akita Inu dogs may project sheer stubbornness because they have such an independent nature. This attitude creates the impression of meanness. Akita Inus don’t like to be touched or ordered by anyone other than their family members. Furthermore, Akitas do not like to feel crowded, they want their personal space. However, they like to lean onto their human family members to show affection and warn others to stay away. Some people liken the attitude of Akita Inus to rudeness. 

Can Akita Inus be Dangerous?

Yes, Akita Inus can be dangerous, but only if their owners do not socialize and train them properly. Utilizing the tools available to help Akita Inus from a young age to be comfortable in the presence of other dogs could prevent any dangerous situations. Dog owners should understand that the genes in Akitas that made them stars in dog fights will always be there, and only training and socializing could redirect those tendencies away from aggression.

Do Akitas have lockjaw?

Lockjaw is a term incorrectly used for some dog breeds with exceptionally forceful bites. The real meaning of lockjaw is a medical condition that affects the jaw and neck muscles preventing movement of the jaws. Conditions include tetanus, arthritis, and other neurological conditions that affect humans and dogs.

However, when using the term lockjaw in relation to dog bites by breeds like the Akita Inu, it refers to the scissor-shaped jaw of the canine and its powerful bite. It describes a situation in which the Inu bites another dog or human, and holds that bite until the dog decides to open it and release the victim. There have been circumstances like that when unsocialized Akita Inus attacked other animals. 

Do Akita Inus Ever Attack?

No, Akita Inus are not likely to attack. They are known for their friendly and affectionate attitude towards people. However, exceptions exist, and any dog that is provoked might attack. Mistreatment of physical punishment might also cause Akita Inus to build up aggression and attack when they reach boiling point. An inexperienced and abusive owner who doesn’t know how to socialize an Akita Inu may later lead to the dog’s aggressive behavior and an attack.

Can Akita take down a bear?

As late as 1957, Akita predecessors were still being used to hunt bears, deer, and wild boars in Japan. Males and females were often used to hunt bears simultaneously. During the hunt, the male Akitas Inus distracted the bear while the female Akitas ran around biting the bear’s hocks until the hunter arrived and fired the kill shot. Akita Inus have evolved, and although they still have a threatening disposition, today’s Akitas will not be able to take out a bear.

Can Akita Inus Kill Humans?

Yes, the Akita Inu is a wolf-like breed that can kill humans, but only if their owners fail to socialize them while young. Statistics show 70 attacks by Akitas occurred between 1982 and 2014. Of those attacks, 52 maimings resulted, and 8 victims suffered fatal injuries. There have been 70 attacks, eight deaths, and 52 maimings, according to the report covering the period between 1982 and 2014.

Why is Akita banned?

The Akita Inu breed is not subject to a federal ban in the U.S. however, many cities across the country either forbid Akita ownership or have restrictions on dogs of this breed. In some cities, they may not be taken to dog parks, and they should be muzzled when on walks. Unfortunately, the fact that Akitas were bred and used for dogfights centuries ago, the breed is still regarded as dangerous, despite the fact that overly aggressive Akitas typically have owners who could not bother socializing the dogs to avoid attacks on other dogs or people.

How do Akita Inus Cope with Being Left Alone?

Akita Inu dogs can cope with being alone for a few hours per day as long as they have sufficient space to play and suitable toys to keep them busy. However, Akita Inus crave social interaction with their human families, and they might act up if left in isolation too often. Akita Inus who get enough exercise tend to cope with isolation best.

Are Akitas good off-leash?

No, Akita Inus should not be off-leash when they are not in fenced-in backyards. To allow Akitas the fun of long walks and sniffing each blade of grass, it is essential to have them on sturdy leashes. If the Inus are properly socialized, taking them for a walk should be safe. However, knowing about their dog-fighting ancestry, it is always best to have them on a leash and be alert during the walk. Even an insignificant signal from another dog might trigger an Akita’s inborn aggression.

Can I leave my Akita Inu at home?

Yes, an Akita Inu can be left at home, but they don’t relish being left alone. Akita Inus are friendly and loving, and they are happiest when surrounded by the family they love and care about. Consequently, Akita Inus do not like being alone and is best suited to homes where at least one family member is present at all times.

Can Akita Inus be left alone for 8 hours?

No, Akita Inu owners are not recommended to leave them alone for longer than 1 hour per month of their age. Thus, two-month-old Akita puppies could be left alone for up to two hours. When the Inus are this young, their bladders are tiny, and they need to go to the bathroom every 2 hours.

It is recommended that you follow this rule of thumb up until your Akita puppies reach eight months of age when they are completely potty-trained and can survive the day. This is the general cutoff point for the rule of 1 hour/age in months. Akita Inus shouldn’t be left alone for more than eight hours as mentioned above.

Being home all day is not fun for Akita Inus, as they need a lot of exercise. It’s worth considering hiring a dog walker for an older puppy or even an adult Akita Inu. Consider asking a family member or friend to take the Akita for a walk and let them pee outside. You can greatly benefit their well-being by giving them a break during a long day at home alone.

How to Train an Akita Inu?

Akitas Inus are intelligent canines and obedience training is highly recommended but doesn’t count on perfect compliance. Akita Inus enjoy putting their own spin on obedience commands. Use treats and positive reinforcement techniques to persuade your Akita Inu that he wants to do as you ask. And “ask” is the operative word. Japanese Akitas are independent, and will flat-out ignore their trainers if they try to boss them around. However, they find out the association between commands and actions quite quickly and obey the first command 50% of the time or better.

How Frequently does an Akita Inu Bark?

The Akita Inu barking is minimal to none. When they do bark, it is typically for a good reason like alerting their owner of danger, protective warning, fear, separation anxiety, boredom, seeking attention, and rarely compulsive barking. However, Akita Inus have a whole language of different sounds, used to communicate with their families. They use amusing moans, grunts, and mumbles to communicate. Akitas sometimes appear to be talking to themselves, as if they are muttering under their breath.

What is the need for Mental Stimulation of an Akita Inu?

Mental stimulation is essential for an Akita Inu to function optimally. Akita Inus are intelligent dogs that need mental and neurological stimulation. Providing mental enrichment for an Akita Inu is quite simple, but the benefits are significant. It is anything that activates, enriches, and stimulates the Akita’s mind. Mental stimulation could be external, using the environment or internal thought. This can include using toys, puzzles, and other interactive toys, and games like scenting games involving hiding treats to be sniffed out. Hide and seek is another perfect way to stimulate Akita Inus.

The benefits of mental enrichment for the Akita Inu are listed below:

  • Assists and stimulates Akita’s brain growth
  • Improves Akita’s problem-solving skills
  • Builds Akita’s social skills and confidence
  • Allows the Akita to engage in natural and instinctive behaviors
  • Mental stimulation allows for happier and more balanced Akita Inus, reducing risks of depression

Overall, mental stimulation prevents boredom and resulting destructive behavior.

What are the Breed Standards of the Akita Inu?

Akita Inus are an ancient dog breed with a rich, brave history. Today, despite their controversial reputation, they are loved by many. Some of the breed standards are listed below.

Coat Color:

Red, brindle (of varying colors), and white. 

Size Classification:

Large

Eye Color:

Dark brown eyes, slightly raised at the outside corners

Average Weight:

Males 65 to 75 pounds, Females 55 to 65 pounds

Average Height:

(at the withers)

Males 25 to 27 ½ inches, Females 22 ⅓ to 25 inches

Average Lifespan:

12 to 15 years

What is the General Information about the Akita Inu?

Akita Inu is an ancient Japanese dog, originating from Honshu island in Japan. The dog was bred for hunting bigger wild animals such as moose, wild boar and bear, moose, and wild boar. They are said to have fought alongside the samurai. In 1931, the Japanese government declared the breed as a national treasure in 1931. The Japanese Akita breed arrived in the United States when a woman named Helen Keller came across them in Japan and could not resist bringing an Akita Inu with her when she returned to the U.S.

Prospective Akita Inu parents would be wise to reach out to any of the organizations that register or recognize the breed. They include American Canine Registry, American Kennel Club, America’s Pet Registry, Canadian Kennel Club, Dog Registry of America Inc., North American Purebred Registry, Inc., American Canine Association, Inc., Continental Kennel Club, National Kennel Club.

How heavy do Akitas get?

A fully grown male Akita Inu could weigh up to 130 pounds, while the female could reach a weight of 100 pounds at maturity.

Where to Buy or Adopt an Akita Inu?

Despite their bad reputation, Akita Inus are incredibly loyal companions, that are very affectionate and loving towards their families. They’re also very gentle with children. 

Akita Inu Puppies cost between $800 and $1200. Choosing a reputable Akita Inu breeder who does responsible and selective breeding is essential. Potential owners must know that they will get a healthy dog that will not develop problems years later.

Some of the breeders recommended by the Akita Inu Club of America, Inc are listed below:

  • ALI’I AK INU – Wasilla, AK
  • MOJO AKITAS – Gilroy, CA
  • WASENSHI AKITAS – Nova Scotia (Truro)
  • FINIGAN AKITAS – Warsaw, Poland
  • ZASEN AKITAS – A Coruña (Oleiros) SPAIN

What are the Rescue Clubs for Akita Inus?

Akita Inu is a complex and often misunderstood breed of dog. But they are also fiercely loyal, brave, and loving towards their families. Several reputable rescue organizations are listed below.

  • The Japanese Akita Welfare Trust – U.K.
  • Midwest Akita Rescue Society (MARS) — Virginia U.S.
  • Georgia Akita Rescue Division (GARD – Georgia
  • Rakki-Inu Akita Rescue – Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina
  • Akita Advocates Relocation Team (AARTA) – Arizona
  • Namaste Akita Rescue Alliance Inc. (NARA) – California

 What is the Average Maintenance for the Akita Inu?

The cost of owning an Akita Inu is not straightforward math because a number of things must be taken into consideration. These include the cost of the dog itself, food, veterinary expenses, supplies, training, licensing, insurance, grooming, and more. However, there are averages to work on.

An Akita Inu puppy is likely to cost between $800 and $1,600 with an average of $1,200.

First-year expenses are around $4,275 and after that, it will be about $1,850 per year or $154 per month.

Through the dog’s lifetime, the average cost of owning an Akita Inu is $24,625.

The first year of an Akita Inu’s life is more costly because of more veterinary care. However, vet care costs could be higher throughout an Akita Inu’s life than any other expenses.

Below is a list of averages:

  • Typical veterinarian expenses when owning an Akita Inu: $45 – $85 per month, including a once-off neutering or spaying bill, which is $50 to $400.
  • The Akita Inu’s vet bills will also include vaccines, $15 to $30.
  • An Akita’s food requirements are between $53 and $95 per month.
  • Akita Inu training costs from $240 to $600 for private training or $50 to $125 for group training; both refer to a 4 to 6-week course.

How to Name an Akita Inu?

Naming an Akita Inu might require different criteria than new Akita parents might expect. It is never the actual name the Akita Inus respond to; instead, it is the sound and how it is said.

The Building Blocks necessary include tone and syllables as listed below::

  • Akita Inus respond best to two-syllable names because they are not short enough to be confused with single-syllable command words like sit, come, and down. However, they are not long enough to become puzzling. Simple examples include Hiro, Michi, and Nori.
  • Akita owners set on a specific single-syllable name can go with it, but find a way to stretch the sounds to sound like two, such as “Kin” stretched into two syllables “Kee-Hin” and using two different tones when calling him.
  • Akita Inus respond most positively to high-pitched, excited, and happy sounds when calling them and soothing, quiet sounds like Yori or Yuki when they get nervous or overzealous.
  • Some Akita parents find their Akita Inus respond and recognize their names better if they say them in a sing-song voice like Sora or Yoshi.

What are the Different Types of Akita Inus?

There are two types of Akita and their physical differences are listed below: 

  • The Japanese Akita Inu: Coat colors only brindle, white, red fawn, and red fawn with black tips. The Akita Inu’s face is fox-like. They have almond-shaped dark brown eyes that slant upward at the outside corners. Japanese Akitas grow to heights between 23 and 28 inches, and they weigh between 50 and 85 pounds.
  • The American Akita: Coat c=come in all colors and a variety of markings, including a black face mask on some Akitas. The American Akita type’s head is broad and its small deep-set eyes and its face resembles that of a bear. The American Akita is heavier, with weights between 80 and 145 pounds. Their heights are similar at 23 to 28 inches measured at the withers.

What are the Similar Dog Breeds to Akita Inus?

Similar dog breeds to Akita Inu are listed below:

  • English Mastiff: Like the Akita Inus, English Mastiffs have long muscles and they are muscular and tall.
  • Anatolian Shepherd: These dogs share the Akita Inu’s high intelligence and they make good watchdogs.
  • Irish Wolfhound: These hounds are as muscular and tall-standing as the Akita Inu.
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Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.